In 1801, Nancy Carter, who had been enslaved by George and Martha Washington, was one of 124 people to be freed. Afterwards, Nancy married her husband, Charles Quander, and together they raised a family.

In 1926, children and grand-children gathered for the first Quander family reunion — as a way to connect older generations with younger ones, honor their lineage, and preserve their family history. 

Every year since then, for nearly a century, the Quander family has been coming together, but in the midst of a global pandemic, as their 95th reunion was approaching, they were faced with a difficult decision. 

Speaking remotely through StoryCorps Connect, Rohulamin Quander and his cousin, Alicia Argrett, talked about reunions past, and how this year was different from the rest.

Top Photo: Rohulamin Quander at his home in Washington, D.C. in 2016 and Alicia Argrett in Madison, MS in 2010. Photos courtesy of Rohulamin Quander and Alicia Argrett.
Middle Photo: Members of the Quander family gather at Mount Vernon in 2010, in front of a slave cabin replica, at the 85th Family Reunion. Courtesy of Rohulamin Quander.
Bottom Photo: Georgie Quander, Tom Quander, Susannah Quander, and Sadie Quander Harris, 1926 Founders of the Quander Family Reunion.  Courtesy of Rohulamin Quander.

Originally aired August 7, 2020, on NPR’s Morning Edition.